President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap former Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy to spearhead his ambitions for a massive, coordinated domestic campaign to slow climate change.
That's according to a person familiar with the plans who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to avoid publicly preempting the president-elect's announcement.
But this announcement has upset a lot of Flint Water activists who blame McCarthy for the lead contamination and water crisis in Flint.
"It's appalling, absolutely appalling. It is a huge injustice to everyone in Flint and everything that we've suffered," said LeeAnne Walters, an activist who helped expose the water contamination in Flint in 2014. "In her (McCarthy) role she essentially allowed all of that to happen. She could have done better for us and she could have stopped what was happening and she chose not to. So to do this is a slap in the face to all of us and I'm sorry the fact that this is the choice that is being made makes me wonder what the next four years is going to be like if he's (Biden) willing to do that after everything that has already happened to the people of Flint. Biden's making a huge mistake."
On Wednesday afternoon Congressman, and Flint resident, Dan Kildee issued this statement:
I thank President-elect Joe Biden for making clear that combatting climate change will be a top priority in his administration. We are already seeing first-hand the effects climate change is having on our Great Lakes, including record lake levels and threats of invasive species like Asian carp.
Many Flint residents have expressed their concerns to me about this appointment and I have relayed their concerns to senior members of the Biden-Harris Transition. While the position of White House Climate Coordinator does not require confirmation by Congress, we must never forget the failures of the Flint water crisis. All levels of government, including the state of Michigan and the Environmental Protection Agency, failed Flint families. The EPA should not have taken the state of Michigan at its word about the quality of Flint’s water. That’s why I led the fight to pass new laws that require public notifications within 24 hours of high lead levels in drinking water. I also led the fight to secure $170 million to replace lead pipes and expand health care for residents after this man-made crisis. What happened to Flint is not an anomaly, it is a warning to the rest of the country that we must get serious about better protecting public health and addressing the injustices that we see in society. I have already had several conversations with the incoming Biden administration about how we can help Flint recover, and I will continue to aggressively push policy solutions that help families in my hometown.